WAGGA is moving away from fast fashion with the younger generations increasingly showing an interest in the 'reduce, reuse and recycle' mantra.
Sewing classes are reporting more and more beginners taking the plunge to learn the skill while repair shops have been kept consistently busy.
Coolamon's Anita McAdam, who teaches sewing and repairs at Simply Stitches in Wagga, said the skill was not limited to a certain age.
"I actually have a mother and daughter coming in this week for a class, the daughter is 11 and is a beginner, she's one of the younger ones we have but it's definitely not uncommon," she said.
"When someone has an interest in [sewing], age doesn't have an impact. It's all about the attitude."
In fact, Ms McAdam said 50 per cent of her upcoming class are beginners.
"Repair and alteration work is also through the roof in Wagga at the moment," she said.
"There's a lovely big push for repairing and upcycling clothes which is fantastic, but the value in clothing isn't as good as it should be."
Ms McAdam said, as someone who has been sewing all their life, she has "always understood the value of clothing", but many people aren't focused on the longevity of items.
"There has to be a point where we stop that mass consumption, which is an escalating problem we have with waste that will blow up in our face one day," she said.
"Not everyone has to know or learn how to sew, but understanding the value of clothes, what you're spending your money on and the quality is really important."
Wagga City Council's Environmental Education Officer Alice Kent said she couldn't agree more.
"A term that is often used is 'fast fashion' which refers to the high volume production of low cost clothing to keep up with the latest fashion trends," she said.
"These items are often made of poor quality fabrics and are definitely not made for durability."
Ms Kent said there were "definite negative environmental and social impacts" as a result.
"The fashion industry is the second biggest consumer of water in the world and accounts for around 10 per cent of human-based carbon emissions," she said.
"There are also negative impacts relating to colour dyes and chemicals used to treat fabrics.
"Additionally, as clothing generated through 'fast fashion' is not built to last it means items can quickly end up in landfill."
But Wagga was on its way to a more sustainable fashion industry, according to Ms Kent.
"To their credit, the fashion industry is starting to address some of these environmental challenges which has certainly been urged on by consumer demand for more sustainable options," she said.
"The trend is certainly increasing in our city. This is evidenced by the number of small, locally owned clothing shops opening up in Wagga.
"You can see it at the various local markets with stallholders showing off their handmade fashion creations."
For those seeking to lead a more sustainable lifestyle when it comes to fashion, Ms Kent shared some tips:
"Quality over quantity. Consider your budget for clothing," she said.
"If you can, buy fewer items of better quality rather than more clothes of a lower quality. You are still spending the same amount but you will have items that last longer and be more suitable for a donation to charity or passing on to a friend or family member when you want to freshen your wardrobe.
"You can even sell quality items through an online platform to make some extra cash to fund your next outfit."
In other news:
"Find items that can be mixed and matched to create a new look each time you wear it," Ms Kent said.
She added it was also worth checking out the local shops stock before going to the big brands.
"There are gems to be found at great prices," Ms Kent said.
"Also, you can feel good knowing that Op Shops benefit local charities doing important work in our community."
The final step tied in with Ms McAdam's work, with Ms Kent encouraging everyone to learn to sew.
"This skill can help you mend, hem or refashion clothes already in your wardrobe," she said.
"Sewing your own creation from scratch means you can make it to suit your body shape and size for a perfect fit every time.
"There are a number of local businesses selling fabrics and offering sewing classes to get you started."